As the world scurries to celebrate the end of a long year, Refilwe Kgosiemang and Siyabonga Sithole suggest the best cocktails with which to ring in 2014 Sixteen72 from Cape Town’s One&Only Sixteen72 1. The Sixteen72 cocktail from One&Only is a brandy-based cocktail commemorating over four centuries of brandy history in South Africa. The first brandy was distilled aboard the Dutch ship De Pijl, which anchored in Table Bay harbour in 1672, hence the name of the cocktail. This spring-inspired cocktail, designed by mixologist Johan Blaauw, was launched in September and is available throughout the festive season at the Vista Bar & Lounge. It contains KWV brandy infused with home-made organic rooibos syrup and finished off with a signature peachy foam. The Sixteen72 cocktail made it to the national finals of the Diageo Reserve World Class competition. It goes without saying that this cocktail is one of the festive finest in South Africa. Seared Sweetshop Daiquiri from Cape Town’s One&Only Seared Sweetshop Daiquiri 2. Daiquiri drinkers have increased over time. Admiral Lucius W Johnson is said to have introduced this beloved drink to America at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC, before 1910 and drinkers of the daiquiri variety have increased ever since. The Seared Sweetshop Daiquiri is a combination of Bacardi Superior rum, fresh lime, home-made berry and marshmallow syrup, foamed egg white, a rum and Cointreau fireball, and served with a flaming marshmallow. It is one of the cocktails to look out for this festive season. There is nothing like the flavour of good rum with the contrasting sour and sweet elements. Makes a delicious and refreshing cocktail during happy hour with friends during the festive season. Blushing Rose Mojito from Cape Town’s One&Only Blushing Rose Mojito 3. Blushing Rose Mojito is a combination of Bacardi Superior rum pressed with fresh mint, rose petals and lime juice, and finished with a splash of pink grapefruit. The mojito is one of the most famous rum-based highballs. There are several versions of the mojito. The Blushing Rose Mojito is recommended for light meals and anything in between. Cuba is the birthplace of the mojito and it became author Ernest Hemingway‘s favourite tipple. Hemingway is said to have written “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita” on the wall of a bar called La Bodeguita del Medio. Fynbos Cooler Fynbos Cooler 4. The Fynbos Estate, just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is a unique and special place, and has been called “a hidden gem” and “a corner of paradise”. From The Maslow Hotel comes a truly South African-flavoured cocktail. The refreshingly fruity and well balanced Fynbos Cooler is designed with African feel. Fynbos is truly South African and is a protected plant species found in the Western Cape. The gin used in this drink is locally made and infused with fynbos. Ingredients: Inverroche gin, fresh pear puree, lemon juice and ginger. The Lacuna The Lacuna 5. The Lacuna is a perfect sundowner to enjoy on a warm summer evening while out with friends. It is prepared at the majestic Lacuna Bar in The Maslow hotel in Sandton. Patrons have the option to make use of the glass-enclosed private dining room, which is able to accommodate between 10 and 15 diners. This unique setting overlooks the gardens for an intimate dining experience. The Lacuna is a combination of fresh pineapple, vanilla, basil and gin, and is designed to be the signature Lacuna Bar cocktail. It is the drink of choice for may of its patrons. With a strong African influence, mixed with fresh pineapple and African-flavoured vanilla with a dash of basil for that added bit of spice, the European clients like it with a serving of gin. Muddle, shake or strain contents over cubed ice. The Umhlanga Schling Umhlanga Schling 6. The Umhlanga Schling is The Oyster Box’s signature and must-have cocktail for anyone visiting this luxury hotel in Umhlanga, Durban. This cocktail can be enjoyed with the spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. The Umhlanga Schling is mixed using Durban-based ingredients. It is a local spin of the famous Singapore Sling served at Raffles Hotel in Singapore, but The Oyster Box has Durbanised the cocktail. Ingredients include KwaZulu-Natal cane spirits, pineapple, sugar syrup, mint and crushed ice. Locals farming the sugar cane have been selected for this exhilarating “home-grown” cocktail. So go on and enjoy this festive treat under the shade while overlooking the South Coast beaches. The Banana Buzz from Buzz9 in Melville Banana Buzz 7. A fruity cocktail with banana flavours – also known as half and half – and with a heavy creamy mix, Bacardi, banana liqueur and Cape Velvet Kahlúa. This cocktail should be blended and not shaken. It’s ideal for the ladies, but it can also be enjoyed by any of the patrons of this trendy cocktail bar in Melville. One would swear that this is a milkshake rather than a cocktail because of the rich banana flavour and it is clearly one of the signature cocktails at Buzz9. If you are in Johannesburg this festive season, be sure to pop in to Buzz9 to join the hip locals on sofas or chairs inside, or a table by the pavement to watch street life go by. There’s no better way to taste the “best of banana meets Bacardi” flavour while enjoying the quiet Johannesburg atmosphere in December. Buzz Ice Tea a.k.a. Long Island Buzz Ice Tea 8. Buzz Ice Tea is a spin-off of the popular and much loved Long Island Iced Tea cocktail. It is also one of the most loved cocktails at the Buzz9 cocktail bar in Melville, Johannesburg. Instead of the traditional Coca-Cola, Buzz9 has put a mild spin on this trendy cocktail by making use of Sprite as the featured ingredient. This cocktail has been the most loved cocktail at Buzz9 over the past two weeks now that it has been re-remixed after a customer recommended the new version of the cocktail to Carlos Khunou, one of the staff members at Buzz9. Strawberry Daiquiri Strawberry Daiquiri 9. The laid-back atmosphere of Buzz9, along with the cool music in the background, provides the ideal set-up for the Strawberry Daiquiri. Like all daiquiris, it traces its origins to Cuba. Staff member Carlos Khunou attests to its mass appeal and it popularity at the establishment. The main ingredients include strawberry juice, strawberry liqueur and strawberry syrup, a dash of lime and cordial blend, and crushed ice. The cocktail is light and fruity, making it a favourite among the ladies, but as Khunou adds: “It is for everyone.” Excitabull Excitabull 10. This cocktail is exclusively available from Six Bar in Melville, a stylish and chilled space that serves as a convenient spot for late diners and cocktail swaggers, and it is one of the house favourites. It is great for sundowners after that long hard day, or if you want to take it easy on a hot summer’s day. It is a fusion of berries, vodka, rum and Red Bull. Excitabull will not disappoint in delivering that much-needed kick but some would find that it is a bit on the strong side. The Excitabull is served in a Linz glass, which is perfect for cocktails, if only for the fact that you get bang for your cocktail buck. » Talk to us: What are some of your favourite cocktails and which ingredients do you prefer?